Habitat evaluation using an abundant wild bee species - body size and sex ratio in Osmia rufa (L.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

  • Published source details Gathmann A. & Tscharntke T. (2000) Habitat evaluation using an abundant wild bee species - body size and sex ratio in Osmia rufa (L.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für allgemeine und angewandte Entomologie, 12, 607-610.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Plant nectar flower mixture/wildflower strips

    A replicated study in 1994-1996 near Göttingen, Germany (Gathmann & Tscharntke 2000) found no significant differences in the body mass and sex ratio of red mason bees Osmia rufa in sown wildflower strips on set-aside land compared to field margins (mostly naturally regenerated) and three types of grassland. Overall, female body mass was correlated with flower availability. Sex ratio was correlated with female body mass, relatively more female larvae were found in habitats with large females. Ten artificial nesting aids for solitary bees were placed in five arable habitats (set-asides sown with wildflower seed mixes, mostly naturally regenerated field margins, extensive bio-dynamic grasslands, chalky grasslands and orchard meadows). There were three replicates in each habitat type. Unparasitized cocoons of Osmia rufa were weighed and sex determined in the lab. This study is part of the same study set-up as Gathmann & Tscharntke 1997.

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